It was already nine in the evening and we’ve just finished raiding all the souvenir shops we can find for our pasalubong and keepsakes. Ref magnets checked, keychains checked, t-shirts checked, our grumbling stomachs unchecked.
We’ve been passing by a restaurant advertising cheap kinalas and loglog ever since day one of our Caramoan trip; and I guess there was never gonna be a better time to check it out after all that walking.
Kinalas and loglog are Bicol’s version of mami. They’re basically the same except for the brown gooey stuff they pile on top of the soup (I think, do correct me if there are other differences). The basic bowl is called loglog, and kinalas is the special version which has shredded beef included in the mix.
Caramoan Bed & Dine is actually one of the middle-end accommodations in town, and right beside their rooms is a tiki hut-styled food joint. It’s a simple enough hut with bamboo-furnished interiors. Their lighting is pretty cozy, not too bright and not too dark either. This may be the most upscale dining you can find in Caramoan. The resto was brimming with guests when we arrived, which were a mix of local and foreign tourists.
We of course ordered their loglog and kinalas, which we were craving for some years now ever since we tasted one at a hole-in-the-wall eatery near the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. They were pretty cheap at PHP15.00 and PHP25.00, as advertised at the huge canvass plastered on their gates. I also ordered a dish of bicol express (PHP45.00) for additional local flavor.
Waiting time was not that long and we were served our dish after a few photographs.
The kinalas we ordered years ago at Naga was extremely good and our mind has probably made it even better-tasting than it actually was, so it was with utter unanimous disappointment that Bed & Dine’s version did not even make it to a fourth of our expectations. The soup simply tasted bland and plain. We can’t seem to find the biting taste of that soup we’ve known that’d made us go back bowl after bowl for the free refill.
Their bicol express on the other hand won me over and almost made up for the disappointment of their soup. It was hot and super spicy. This is not the usual ones we are used to in the metro where pork overwhelms the dish.
What they have was the type that I was constantly babbling to my friends when bicol express comes into a conversation. Composed of shrimp paste (very small shrimp or krill) and spicy green pepper, it’s really more of a sawsawan (dip/paste) than a viand. On spicyness level, it trumps every bicol express I’ve tasted (well, except at my uncle’s house in Naga) and although it is a bit too salty for me, it has a pretty good flavor in general (spicyness, of course, is not the end-all of this dish, they must taste good too).
We hurriedly finished our late snack as the restaurant closes at 10pm. A small mix-up at our bill was needed to be sorted out before we left though; they apparently charged us for the soft drinks we ordered which the waiter said was already out of stock.
Caramoan Bed & Dine is actually a decent enough place to eat out in, it is actually the most inviting resto I’ve seen in Caramoan, and I heard they serve a mean chop seuy; I guess if you just stay away from their kinalas and loglog, you’d be a pretty happy camper at their resto.
Caramoan Bed and Dine
Address: Tawog, Caramoan Peninsula, Camarines Sur
Contact Number: (0920) 476-8619 | (0920) 476-8577 | (0915) 826-8563
Website: Click Here